It was announced in January that Kathryn Bigelow's next film would be on the hunt for Bin-Laden. The story clearly changed when Bin Laden was killed. The ending was set and the stakes got higher. And they got even higher when the release date was announced by Sony (so this clearly means it will go into way more theatres than The Hurt Locker did) for October 12, 2012, just a couple of weeks before the 2012 election.
Now that Obama is in a bit of a crisis (so to speak) according to Maureen Dowd's column in the NY Times yesterday, the administration is pinning its hopes that the Oscar winner will deliver a film that will create a narrative to help remind the American public that killing Bin Laden is one of the things that the Obama administration has gotten right.
Dowd says that Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal have high level access to government officials:
The moviemakers are getting top-level access to the most classified mission in history from an administration that has tried to throw more people in jail for leaking classified information than the Bush administration.
It was clear that the White House had outsourced the job of manning up the president’s image to Hollywood when Boal got welcomed to the upper echelons of the White House and the Pentagon and showed up recently — to the surprise of some military officers — at a C.I.A. ceremony celebrating the hero Seals.
While The Hurt Locker didn't have any clear cut political agenda this one looks like it might. It's great that Bigelow and Boal are using their hard fought won power to make the kinds of movies they want to. Only time will tell if this will be the type of movie the Obama administration was hoping for. Giving filmmakers access does not guarantee you get the type of film you want.
Downgrade Blues (NY Times)